Marcus Rashford burst onto the scene just over a year ago at Old Trafford, netting four goals in his first four days with the Manchester United first-team. And such an explosive entrance rightly led to an England call-up, where he netted just three minutes into his senior international debut. It looked as if we’d unearthed a gem.
But have we?
It may just be coincidence, but since Jose Mourinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived in Manchester, goals have been hard to come by for the youth product.
Plenty wondered whether Rashford had a future at Old Trafford, given Mourinho’s history of favouring more experienced players over experimenting with youth. But to his credit, the Portuguese has given plenty of opportunities to Rashford.
The problem is, he’s just not taking them.
Despite featuring in 22 Premier League games this season – 11 from the start – the young forward has just three goals to his name, and has failed to score in his last 18 outings.
Add to that just the one assist so far this campaign, and his overall contribution has been largely disappointing.
Let’s look at the positives for a moment though. He’s probably one of United’s most confident players on the ball. His ability to beat probably every defender in the top-flight in a sprint still make him an exciting prospect. He’s 19-years-old and playing alongside some of the biggest names in world football day-in, day-out.
In short, there’s no doubting the potential Rashford has – but something has to be done in the summer.
Brought into the side as an out-and-out striker, he’s since been pushed out wide to make room for Ibrahimovic under Mourinho, and perhaps that’s why he’s not having much joy in front of goal.
Is a loan move the most sensible option for both club and player?
Spend a season away from Old Trafford.
He’s had a year learning from Ibrahimovic, and it’s hard to see the big Swede at the club after the 2017-18 campaign – he’ll be approaching 37 by then.
That means there’ll be a vacancy at the head of Mourinho’s front-line which would need filling.
A year away from United would take Rashford out of the limelight, and he’d almost certainly walk into every side that’d be likely to express an interest in taking the striker on a short-term deal.
He’d come back to Manchester with another season under his belt having played through the middle, which is undoubtedly where Rashford is at his best.
United would hardly struggle without him. Of the five games in which Rashford hasn’t featured for the Red Devils in the league this season, they’ve picked up 13 points. Even taking his goals and assists out of the equation, Mourinho’s men would be just two points worse off.
So we say let Rashford spent 12 months away, and reap the rewards on his return.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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